Oprah and Sue Monk Kidd

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Yesterday, on Super Soul Sunday, Oprah sat under the oaks with Sue Monk Kidd, best-selling author of The Invention of Wings (an Oprah Book Club selection) and seven other books. I assumed that Oprah would be discussing the novel and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the topic of the telecast was “The Soul of a Writer.” Throughout the telecast, I listened attentively as Sue shared a lifetime of wisdom.

Sue’s journey began on a traditional note. At age 20, she married and started a nursing career, a decision that Sue describes as a “failure of courage.” Her true calling went unheeded for almost a decade. At age 29, she read The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton and experienced one Aha! moment after another.

On the morning of her 30th birthday, Sue marched into the kitchen and announced: “I’m going to be a writer,” an announcement she has labelled a great absurdity. While she had written stories during her childhood and kept a journal, she had not produced any other written work. After discovering this “small true light,” Sue spent the next two decades honing her craft.

Having read and enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees, I was shocked to hear that an esteemed teacher at a conference had read the first chapter and informed Sue that it did not show potential for a novel. Thankfully, Sue was led by serendipity to find her way back to the novel which later sold over 6 million copies.

Quotable Quotes

We should take our own breath once in a while.

There is no place so awake and alive as the edge of becoming.

The soul often speaks through longing.

Prayer is the attention of the heart.

What is the point of spirituality if we don’t put it in some form of practice?

At some point, we must acknowledge: This moment is enough. This place is enough. I’m enough.

Just to be is holy. Just to be is a gift.

Our souls are meant to love and create.

What we pay attention to becomes our God.

An Unexpected Path

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Karen Lopp talking about the rich and colorful experiences that led her down an unexpected path.

Here’s Karen!

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First Act

I was raised in a small farming community, where almost half of the town were relatives. No kidding. Talk about not getting away with anything as a teenager! If you didn’t know about cows, pigs, and how to drive a tractor you were just not “with it”. The big event for the town was the Friday night football game. Even though we usually lost, it was the social gathering place.

After high school, I started a career in computer programing, loving the challenges and problem solving. I’d have reams of paper strung out on the floor, pouring over lines of code, just to find the one mistyped character that threw the whole sequence off. Fun times. But after years of the 8-5 grind I made my first big change. We started a family and I became a stay-at-home mom.

Shortly after, my husband changed jobs and off we went on a brand new adventure. We moved around several times, eight to be exact, and during those years we homeschooled our children. That is a story for another time, but, suffice to say, I loved every minute of it.

Second Act

The transition to an empty nest was a new challenge for me. I had invested so many hours to being a teacher, mentor, and all around life coach, that after the last kid went off to college I knew it was time to get serious about a new path. I had already been dabbling in writing fiction and had a couple of stories stuffed in a notebook, but me an author? Well why not? So I pulled out that dusty notebook, took some online classes on writing, and attended a few classes at the community college.

Becoming a writer had not been a long time dream of mine. I had visions of traveling, starting a bakery, or several other small business ideas. But time and finances tended to get in the way. But once bitten with the writing bug, I could never go back. The road to publication has been frustrating at times and exciting. I have a wonderful base of supporters and cheerleaders. It must be in the blood, because my grandmothers wrote little stories about their lives and always reminisced about it. And my mother taught me how to be a voracious reader.

Writing about history came naturally, so my first two books are set in the Southwest in the late 1800’s. I love cowboys, the pioneer life, and wide open spaces. Being an action junkie, I also write romantic suspense and my first novel in that line will be out in May.

My advice to anyone is don’t be afraid to try something new. You may have never thought you’d like it, but until you try you will never know. Achieving lifetime dreams is wonderful and fulfilling, but when you stumble upon a venue you never considered before, doors to many different paths are opened and the adventures renew or awaken a jest to start a second act.

Good luck with whatever path you choose and remember to enjoy every step along the way.

Karen’s Books

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SHOTGUN BRIDE

A surprise inheritance brings Kathleen Barnes a host of dangers, an unwanted husband, and a chance to start over.

Saddled with a bride he didn’t choose, who has a knack for landing in the middle of trouble, Mike Baca is forced into a private war.

Is this a forced marriage doomed to fail, or will this be an opportunity for both to have a shot at a new life together?

EFFIE’S OUTLAW

Boston heiress Effie Sheridan takes matters into her own hands when her fortune is being stolen. The last thing she expects is to be kidnapped by a gang of train robbers. Forced to pretend to be an outlaw’s lover to stay alive, she questions her sanity when she is drawn to the gruff, yet charming bandit who risks everything to save her.

U.S. Deputy Alex Marshall is mad enough to spit nails when the beautiful, city-bred girl lands in his arms. Unable to abandon her to the cruelties of the gang, he searches for a way out of the responsibility. But her courage and sweet kisses begin to chip away at the bitterness inside his heart and he must choose between revenge on the gang that slaughtered everyone he loved or redemption for saving a woman he can never have.

SPLINTERED LIES (Coming May 2014)

Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?

Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?

Where to find Karen…

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Joanne here!

Thank you for sharing your experiences, Karen. Effie’s Outlaw is on my e-reader, at the top of my TBR list. I will be adding your other books–they sound delicious!

Oprah and Gary Zukav

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Yesterday on Super Soul Sunday, Oprah celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Seat of the Soul with best-selling author Gary Zukav.

As I listened to this gentle and insightful man, I was surprised to learn of his own journey from a “macho punk with a chip on his shoulder” to an eloquent master teacher. Raised by hard-working parents in Kansas, Gary was an outstanding student who was offered an academic scholarship to Harvard. Later, he joined the prestigious Green Berets. In spite of these achievements, he was embarrassed by his name, his town, and his life. He also battled a sex addiction.

After undergoing his own amazing transformation, Gary dedicated himself to helping others through his books and lectures.

Throughout the telecast, Oprah provided us with flashbacks to Gary’s appearances on her television show. So many wonderful insights were shared, among them Oprah’s Gloria Halleluiah moment: “When the personality comes to serve the energy of the soul that is authentic empowerment.”

Other quotable quotes…

When you make a decision to heal, the universe will back you up.

Anyone who has challenged an addiction has done holy work.

When you strive to heal an addiction, you are ready for your highest calling.

What is failure? We can’t possibly know what failure is. Who is to say what is a success, what is a failure? Trust, relax, do your best, and know you cannot fail.

We are not powerless. And the more we think that, the more pain we create for ourselves.

The foreclosure can be the beginning and not the end.

It is exciting to come of age spiritually.

Transitions are a B*$^%!

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Roz Murphy giving us her take on transitions.

Here’s Roz!

roz murphy (3)First Act: Imagine it’s 1985, Manhattan, a rainy night in late September. All the sane people have fled midtown and huddle in their suburban homes. Hurricane Gloria howls around the creaking skyscraper where, on the eighteenth floor, you and a band of merry accountants (yes, accountants! and, yes, merry!) hustle to put the finishing touches on a report due in Congress tomorrow morning. Deadline pressures, tension, teamwork, worrisome groans from the surrounding building, occasional gusts of laughter…you don’t know it, but this is one of the peaks of your life and your career in corporate communications.

Second Act: Quiet and isolation. The frozen waters of a Finger Lake stretch in every direction outside your kitchen window. Siberia could not own more snow, or be more deserted.

So, how does someone move from Act I to Act 2? I wish I could say a little Tinker Belle sprinkles fairy dust and wafts you effortlessly from one place to another. But noooooo… that would be way too easy. My transitions usually involve pain and loss, heartbreak and fear, which is why I always say–”Transitions are a B#%@$!” As for deets, try divorce, job loss, deaths, multiple relocations, and The Great Recession.

For some reason, we don’t hear much about the destructive power of the Recession, but it was all too real, and it plays a major role in the opening of my debut novel, Bob at the Lake.

This novel explores, in a very light-hearted way, how we survive–and triumph–in the face of adversity. Survival tools include family, friends, writing, Fred Astaire movies, a moderate amount of loopiness, red geraniums, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate…

If I had to pick a couple of motivational quotes that I’ve held close to my heart over recent years, I’d select the following. I don’t know who said the first one, but it goes something like: “Every ending is a beginning. You just don’t realize it at the time.…” The second quote comes from Winston Churchill, who led England through the bloody and battered years of World War 2: “Never, never, never give up!”

I never will.

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Blurb

Bob at the Lake narrates the humorous chronicle of a crabby ‘woman of a certain age’ who moves to the wintry shores of a New York lake—and gets a ghost. And not just any ghost, mind you. Bob’s a plump, middle-aged ghost from 1920s Manhattan who swans around in a silk smoking jacket and drinks far too many martinis. Stir the good-looking grape grower who lives up the hill into this mix and you get a pretty potent screwball cocktail!

Where to find Roz…

Amazon | Twitter | Facebook

Joanne here!

Thanks for sharing your transitions, Roz. The storyline for Bob at the Lake sounds intriguing…I’m putting it on my TBR list.

Take Two or Three…

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Tara Coulter sharing the many acts of her extraordinary life journey.

Here’s Tara!

Tara Coulter (2)Act One

Sometime during high school, I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. The guidance counsellor’s advice that girls couldn’t succeed in law school (I kid you not) could not stop me from pursuing this path.

I worked in Lake Louise, Alberta during the summer after my second year of university and this experience awoke a deep connection to nature that would influence my life’s direction. With no word from my law school applications, I accepted my failure with resignation. There was a lengthy mail strike that summer and when the mail resumed, my acceptance letter from the University of Windsor was delivered. I should have been excited, but I wasn’t.

Sitting in the Calgary airport watching the fading light over the mountains change from blue to indigo, I was tempted to get back on the Brewster bus and return to Lake Louise. By the time the plane landed in Toronto, I had decided not to pursue law school, much to the shock of my family. Confused and disillusioned, I completed the last year of my degree and went backpacking in Europe to find myself. I found a lot of other lost people and churches – lots and lots of churches.

Act Two

While in Europe, I reflected that the thing that brought me the most joy was anything that required creativity – theatre, singing, writing, making things with my hands. I also recognized that living in a natural setting was core to my happiness. Back to school I went, this time to study Arts Management. The program provided me with strong administrative and project management skills and prepared me for work in major arts organizations in Canada. I felt like I was back on track.

The pull of the Canadian Rockies brought me to the Banff Centre and eventually back to Lake Louise where I fell in love and married. Through all of this, I wrote small articles for newsletters and the local paper. After ten years in the mountains, we decided to make the move to a small community on Vancouver Island.

Acts Three through Four

Small communities are wonderful places to live, but tough places to launch a career, especially in arts management. I enjoyed a successful career working as a Realtor only to learn that you can be very good at a job only to find out that the job isn’t right for you. I burnt out and my health suffered.

While trying to get healthy, I discovered natural therapies and became trained in reflexology, aromatherapy, Bowen Therapy and Reiki. I worked for the next 10 years in a spa. I learned so much during this time about our connection to spirit and how absolutely everything in our lives is mirrored in our cells.

Act Five

The decision to sell everything and move aboard a sailboat was my husband’s. However, we both wanted more from life and were looking for adventure. Moving from an acre of land into 200 square feet of bobbing living space is all about adventure. We originally planned to circumnavigate, but we soon discovered that neither one of us was particularly interested in doing passages – we were curious to see beautiful, wild places and could do that here in British Columbia. I have grown so much through this experience and share this information in my blog.

Act Six

I am still debugging old programming that says your success is determined by what you do. I think our success is determined by who we are.

We have recently moved back on land after 10 ½ years of living aboard our sailboat, but our sense for adventure is still strong. We have moved our boat back to our old marina and look forward to summer sailing.

Act Seven

Writing has been the common thread that weaves my disparate acts together. Writing is my lifeline. I want to write a book. I have wanted this for some time now and in spite of encouragement by friends and mentors, I have not completed it. Perhaps that is why I enjoy blogging so much because there are small completions every week. The book is 50% complete and is written in the young adult fiction genre. I am looking forward to sharing it with you.


Tara’s advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act…

• Do not become attached to your plans.

• Practice stillness; it is here that you can hear your soul’s voice.

Shakedown Cruise with Liz, Katy, Angela and Tara…

Where to find Tara…

Website | Twitter | Pinterest

Joanne here!

Wow! Tara, I am in awe of your multi-act life. Consider writing your memoirs in addition to the young adult novel.

Life Gets Better and Better!

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Neva Brown talking about the optimism and work ethic that inspired her amazing life journey.

Here’s Neva!

jonevabrownDescribe your first act.

I grew up a country kid, my dad’s top cowhand. I learned to ride on an old cow horse then graduated to a horse trained just for me. I worked cattle and sheep, built fence, repaired windmills, and helped lay in bundled feed and baled hay for the livestock to eat through the hard winter months. I also learned to garden and to preserve vegetables, fruits, and berries for the family’s food. Regular school and church attendance were givens. My dad wasn’t allowed to finish school. Consequently, he was determined my siblings and I would be educated (five of my public school years I didn’t miss a single day). Above all, I was loved but not coddled.

My first date was with the best looking cowboy in high school. Four years later I married him. When our two sons were less than three years old (not twins), we lived on a ranch twenty-three miles from town with no phone or electricity. It was there I wrote my first little stories.

In time, drought and my husband’s battle with debilitating arthritis sent me back to school to get a teaching degree which served us well in the ensuing years. Our sons grew into productive citizens and married wonderful women (found them without my help—can you believe it!). Now the grandchildren add joy and sparkle to my life.

What triggered the need for change?

I retired from teaching and my husband’s health dictated that we move to town where our life style changed. We now live in a community of “active mature adults.” Life is good!

Where are you now?

This second act of my life is fun, challenging, and just might be a little self indulgent. I write romance novels—contemporary and historical. They range from sweet to sensual. I love spending time with my characters be they naughty or nice. They used to be my guilty, secret pleasure. Now I acknowledge them openly. Some of my contemporaries raise their eyebrows and look a little shocked, but others are a regular cheering section for me.

I found kindred souls in the San Angelo Writers Club and connected with my first critique partners. Soon after that, I braved the internet and found a wealth of supportive online writing groups. Just last year, I finally took my courage in hand and sent a novel, CASEY’S COURAGE out into the publishing world. It found a home and is now on Amazon. My second novel, A PRETTY PENNY, is to be published this spring by Soul Mate Publishing. Life gets better and better!

What advice would you give someone considering a second act?

Never let “I’m too old” or “I don’t have time” be excuses for not doing what you down deep in your heart know you want to do.

Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?

My two maintstay quotes…

“I do the very best I know how—the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” Abraham Lincoln (1860)

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7

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Blurb

LOVE hunkers down and hides but abides until Casey and Tres realize life without love is just existing not really living.

Just as accomplished horse trainer Casey Mason, PhD, feels she’s earned her independence, disaster strikes and her life is forever changed. She must put her life back together bit by piece. The obstacles and her old beliefs seem insurmountable; making her wonder if love can conquer all.

Jordan Spencer III (Tres) inherits Spencer Ranch where Casey, the riding buddy of his youth, still lives. Casey, a beautiful, complex woman, creeps into his mind and heart. Bitter experiences make him shy away from a serious relationship with a woman; yet he and Casey have a special connection. As she struggles with her rehabilitation, he micromanages her life with quiet efficiency until he pushes her past some invisible line. When Casey disappears from his life, he learns more about himself than makes him comfortable. Coming to terms with the past so he can move on to a future with Casey is a challenge that tests his mettle.

Where to find Neva…

Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Joanne here!

What an uplifting post! Thanks for sharing your journey, Neva, and best of luck with all your literary endeavors.

Irish Blessings

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May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!

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May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far.

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May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

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May your troubles be less,
And your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

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May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on.
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond.

___________________________________________________________

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Journeying Toward a Second Act

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Carol Varsalona talking about her inspiring journey from the classroom to unretirement.

Here’s Carol!

carolvHow many times have we heard the phrase, life is a journey? Is it about the destination or the how and why of the journey? I asked that question many times, discovering that life’s detours not only provide challenges but passageways if you travel with an open heart.

Several decades ago, I passionately engaged in my first act: entering the teaching profession as an idealistic young reading specialist working with urban youth. With hope and a zest for creating optimum learning opportunities, I traveled from central New York school districts to Long Island as a new bride. Finding a position was not challenging but adjusting to the patterns of life on Long Island was problematic at first. Life normalized until an unpredicted event caused a major detour.

Ironically on Labor Day, my first child was born under a set of harsh experiences that left him with both a physical disability and learning problems. In the early years of motherhood, I learned from hardship, strength of character develops. Despite the challenges, deep faith allowed hope to grow and with grace, I began to balance a career in education, marriage, and motherhood of two, but my career plans to become a leader of literacy were placed on hold.

Twenty-five years later, the realization of my dream came to be when I joined the ranks of district-wide literacy administrators. But life has its way of turning gold into dust and shortly after this new opportunity came my way, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 lymphoma. Faced with the brutal truth that the road to recovery was an arduous one, I journeyed once again with the support of family. It was the power of prayer and medicine that led me through a difficult, but gratifying, decade in educational administration.

As with all careers, there comes a time when retirement appears to be a next step in life, but for me it was not an easy transition. I never equated retirement with a state of complete bliss. I questioned its parameters while contemplating what life would bring. I accepted a change of direction but wondered what that entailed. In a matter of days following retirement from public education, I allowed faith to transition me onto a new path once again.

My life was reimagined as an ELA consultant using my expertise to build a customized suite of protocols that would challenge educators to new levels of thinking. With this shift, I crossed a metaphorical bridge to find my niche in retirement, unretirement that allowed me to pursue my passions in unique ways. Unretirement became my gateway to open paths where pausing, reflecting, redesigning, and renewing life became the stepping-stones.

With a resurgence in the process of contemplation, I recently shared my ten-year remission story during a #pfwchat conversation on Twitter. Although I have talked about the miracle of survival in face-to-face conversations, it was daunting to discuss it openly in a public forum. Speaking from the heart has become an avenue to help others find comfort in the challenges they face while providing me with the space to grow as a learner. It is through the spirit of openness that I have found solace in stillness, gratitude despite obstacles, and a reinvented me who left a first act to play out a second one.

For those wishing to pursue a second act, determination and strength of character will be your guide. Journey on, beyond rocky climbs and steep ascents to find stillness. Breathe, reflect, and step lightly on a new path where desires and expectations intersect reality.

Roads Beyond

Roads Beyond

There are roads beyond,

With twisting turns, questionable forks,

Straight paths that beckon

And burdensome, rocky climbs.

Step lightly; rush not.

Cautiously journey,

Map in hand, mission in mind.

Progress faithfully;

Search in stillness

To embrace the journey.

Publications

“Picture This Program Engages Junior High School Students in the Literacy Experience” Reading Today (April/May 2008)

“Engage Me! Building Family Connections Through Digital Storytelling” 2012 The English Record 61(3), 85-119.

Numerous Regional, State, and National Presentations on Re-designing the Literacy Classroom and Building Collaborative Communities.

Where to find Carol…

Website | Google+ | Twitter

Joanne here!

Thank you, Carol, for sharing your journey. I am in awe of the inner strength and determination that enabled you to transcend the many challenges you have faced. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Shattered First Acts Make Sweeter Second Acts

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Catherine Castle talking about an unexpected second act and her debut novel, The Nun and the Narc.

Here’s Catherine!

catherinecastleWe all go through a series of second acts in our lives. We transition from teenager to adult, from single to married, from wife or husband to parent. Most of us go from job to job. Change can be scary, even if you want it, and shattered first acts can be devastating, if you let them be.

My first act was shattered at 19 when I was turned down for musical theatre at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. The only thing I ever wanted was to sing professionally. With no music theory background, the college took me in on probation based on the quality of my voice. I thought I was on my way when I made that cut. But at the end of the year I was told, “Sorry. You have a beautifully sweet voice, but sweet will never make it as a singer.” That news hit me so hard I didn’t sing in public for over a year, which, for a singer, was like a year without food or water.

At a loss for a career, it never occurred to me to try something I had been doing all my life—writing. I had been so focused on singing that I couldn’t see what was right in front of me. Writing was a creative outlet not a job choice. Instead, I went to business college. After graduation I married my high school sweetheart, who helped soothe my shattered soul, and, after that first year of no singing, I gathered the courage to sing again in public. I had let people who didn’t believe in me shatter my dream, but others appreciated the gift God had given me. In spite of not following a singing career, I knew I had an obligation to use my gift however I could.

Fast forward 21 years later and I’m very happily employed as a domestic engineer, a fancy title in that era for mothers and housewives who didn’t have paying careers. Still writing for myself, I began to wonder if I could make money on my hobby. The local weekly newspapers featured articles by by-lined contributors who I learned were non-staff members submitting articles for publication. In the simplistic, mostly uninformed mind of someone who had never taken a journalism course in her life, I thought, I know how to write. I could do that. So, I began to look for ideas to write about. The opportunity came when our church built a new facility. I gathered up my courage, called the paper, and asked if I could submit an article about the groundbreaking.

The editor said, “Sure, but I can’t pay you or give you a byline.”

No pay and no byline almost stopped me. I was older and wiser, however. I had once let others stop me from pursuing a dream, and I was not about to give this one up. I’d give away as many articles as I needed to in order to get the job as contributor. So, I said, “No problem.”

I studied the paper’s lead writer, modeling my piece after hers, and I was thrilled when they printed it just like I’d written it—not a single correction. Then I promptly tried to think of something else to write about. My efforts netted me nothing until the church had its first service in the new building. Once again, I gathered my courage and asked if I could do another piece. I bargained for a byline, offering this piece free, too, and the editor accepted the terms. Seeing my name at the top of the article hooked me. I wanted to see that again and again.

Shortly afterwards, I invited the editor to a writer’s meeting to talk to members about writing for the newspaper. I wanted to know how to become a stringer, and I was too scared to come right out and ask her to hire me. When she finished her talk, I asked two questions. What kind of topics was she looking for as newspaper articles? (Remember I sucked at coming up with ideas back then.) And how did one become a stringer?

She looked at me and said, “Come into the office tomorrow and we can talk about signing a stringer contract for you.”

I worked part time for the Community Press for 10 years. When I left their employ to focus on fiction writing, the second act of my writing career, I had over 600 articles and hundreds of photos to my credit. I had branched out into other markets writing for children, seniors, learned how to reslant and reuse my interviews and notes, and bargained for rights. Other regional editors from Community Press papers would call me to string for them, and I gladly accepted every job.

It’s funny how things work out. Had I made it into musical theatre, I might not have married my high school sweetheart. I’d have been in New York chasing another dream. I wouldn’t have my wonderful husband, beautiful daughter, or even my best friends. One shattered dream turned into a lifetime of happiness and a different career, albeit much later than I ever dreamed possible.

If you’re looking for your second act in life, here’s a piece of advice: Your dream is closer to you than you probably realize. Had I realized at age 19 the writing path waited for me I might not have taken 21 years to discover journalism and another 23 to become a published author. I could have a lot more books out there had I discovered that second act dream sooner.

I once interviewed a woman who got her GED at age 80. So, don’t let others, taking chances, or being afraid discourage you. Follow your dreams whenever they become known to you. It’s never too late.

I didn’t realize it until I was writing this blog post, but The Nun and the Narc is about second acts, too. Sister Margaret Mary and the hero Jed are faced with their own second acts in a fast-paced action adventure.

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Blurb from The Nun and the Narc

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Where to find Catherine…

Website | Blog | Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Joanne here!

Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey, Catherine. Last month, I read The Nun and the Narc in two sittings. Simply delightful!